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Re: I'm Done with Alfred!
Joe302 #2794991 12/24/18 08:12 PM
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Ditto! I ditched Alfred's after going upto 104th page. It does give a feeling of having completed something, but that is all I was getting. Then I searched for beginners' classical pieces on YouTube and came across two sites - https://youtu.be/iQtrVRQuCyA (piano lessons on the web) and PianoTv - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCz0PmHG0RvQHazlEsFU-4uQ - where you can find RCM grade wise interesting pieces to play. I also came across some videos uploaded by Trinity College of Music where they showed students taking exams according to grades. I saw a grade 3 student playing some good pieces. All these will make a good library to play that you will be able to enjoy.

I myself have started learning Minuet in G by Bach\Perzold and Prelude in C by Bach from WTC, Book 1.


Wish I had started earlier!
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Re: I'm Done with Alfred!
Joe302 #2794992 12/24/18 08:13 PM
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For anyone sick of Alfred but still wanting to move forward in a curriculum, have you looked into Faber? I prefer the tunes in those, and they have adult books as well. I normally get my adult students to move through Faber with some supplementary techniques.

Re: I'm Done with Alfred!
Joe302 #2795048 12/25/18 03:18 AM
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In the category "spontaneous thoughts upon reading thread titles": When I saw this one, I thought you were batman.


Sibylle


"Not a shred of evidence exists in favour of the idea that life is serious." -Brendan Gill
Re: I'm Done with Alfred!
Sibylle #2795082 12/25/18 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Sibylle
In the category "spontaneous thoughts upon reading thread titles": When I saw this one, I thought you were batman.


grin ha



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Re: I'm Done with Alfred!
Joe302 #2795112 12/25/18 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Joe302
After spending nearly two years with the Alfred All in One Adult Piano Course Book One, I can confidently state that I am done with this book. I reached page 100 and I am not going any further. I’m no longer willing to spend any more time with the awful tunes in this book. The only thing of interest to me at this point are the songs Over the Rainbow, Laura, and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas at the back of the book.


Well, apparently you're almost done with Book One, so you don't really have to spend "any more time with the awful tunes". Most of them aren't actually awful - just not too interesting or pleasing to the ear. But, they were there for good reasons, based on many years of experience of playing and teaching by the authors. Mostly these have to do with a gradual approach to learning what is a very difficult skill.

Many who have studied via Alfred have felt like you do at various times - some have opted out, but mostly they have continued on to Books Two & Three, and have profited or benefited to one extent or another by doing so. In general, the pieces become increasingly difficult (as you would expect and should hope) but also many of them become much more pleasing musically. Most of the people who have continued with Alfred into these more advanced Books are glad, to one degree or another, that they did. (See the Book 2 & 3 threads here).

You will find "awful" music anywhere and everywhere - you just might be (as the old saying has it) "jumping out of the frying pan into the fire" (going from bad to worse). You might want to reconsider and continue into Book 2 at least part of the way (by being selective in the pieces therein you study). Haste makes waste - especially when learning a complex skill. Alfred has worked this process out fairly well over the years. Don't discount it's many successes arbitrarily.


John

"Difficulties deferred and challenges unmet will eventually return with a vengeance to bite one in the butt." (paraphrasing Chopin)
Re: I'm Done with Alfred!
Sibylle #2795120 12/25/18 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Sibylle
In the category "spontaneous thoughts upon reading thread titles": When I saw this one, I thought you were batman.


In the category "spontaneous thoughts upon reading a thread": Half a year from now, you'll write a new thread. "I am done with Mikrokosmos!"


Playing the piano is learning to create, playfully and deeply seriously, our own music in the world.
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... feeling like the pianist on the Titanic ...
Re: I'm Done with Alfred!
Joe302 #2795122 12/25/18 12:05 PM
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There are plenty of level 1 companion song books one can use in parallel with beginner lesson books. This is a common approach many take and lots of tips on the forum about good companion books. I have learned several songs like 'Love me tender', Edelweiss, and several Christmas songs. I just started learning 'What a wonderful life'. BUT all of these are simplified arrangements. Your choices of beginner lesson books is pretty limited - and the differences will not be big because the focus is learning specific skills....no getting around that. I did once try a 'real' song (non-simplified) and found it was taking a long time to learn it because I have not developed the skills yet. Both Alfred's and Faber's have threads where you can chat about details and pick up lot's of pointers to help you be successful.

Wish you good luck for sure. I think you stated that you got to pg 100 after nearly 2 years - that to me seems like slow advancement. I believe about 1 year is average for completing a book. I wonder if the process of practicing needs some refinement? Maybe a different teacher? Good Luck!


Progman
Baldwin Console + Kawai ES100
Alfreds bk 1 + Teacher
Long Live ELP
Re: I'm Done with Alfred!
Sibylle #2795147 12/25/18 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Sibylle
In the category "spontaneous thoughts upon reading thread titles": When I saw this one, I thought you were batman.


No, not that Alfred, the other one.
laugh


Proud owner of a Kawai KU-5D 52 inch professional upright.
Re: I'm Done with Alfred!
Handyman #2795163 12/25/18 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Handyman
Originally Posted by Joe302
After spending nearly two years with the Alfred All in One Adult Piano Course Book One, I can confidently state that I am done with this book. I reached page 100 and I am not going any further. I’m no longer willing to spend any more time with the awful tunes in this book. The only thing of interest to me at this point are the songs Over the Rainbow, Laura, and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas at the back of the book.
Well, apparently you're almost done with Book One, so you don't really have to spend "any more time with the awful tunes". Most of them aren't actually awful - just not too interesting or pleasing to the ear. But, they were there for good reasons, based on many years of experience of playing and teaching by the authors. Mostly these have to do with a gradual approach to learning what is a very difficult skill.

Many who have studied via Alfred have felt like you do at various times - some have opted out, but mostly they have continued on to Books Two & Three, and have profited or benefited to one extent or another by doing so. In general, the pieces become increasingly difficult (as you would expect and should hope) but also many of them become much more pleasing musically. Most of the people who have continued with Alfred into these more advanced Books are glad, to one degree or another, that they did. (See the Book 2 & 3 threads here).

You will find "awful" music anywhere and everywhere - you just might be (as the old saying has it) "jumping out of the frying pan into the fire" (going from bad to worse). You might want to reconsider and continue into Book 2 at least part of the way (by being selective in the pieces therein you study). Haste makes waste - especially when learning a complex skill. Alfred has worked this process out fairly well over the years. Don't discount it's many successes arbitrarily.
I agree. Book 1 pieces are for the most part simplified versions of already simple pieces. Book 2 gets more interesting. Not too many people continue far into Book 3--at that point they are out of method books.

My recollection of many of the pieces in Books 1 and 2 is that they are old, traditional songs that are no longer familiar to most people in this era of an endless supply of music to stream. Many of the remaining pieces are simplified snippets of familiar classical pieces. There are reasons to be leery of simplified classical pieces, and if you don't care for classical you won't like the simple versions, either.

I played through Book 2 and into Book 3 and decided I needed a teacher (and wished I'd done it earlier).


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In summer, the song sings itself. --William Carlos Williams

Re: I'm Done with Alfred!
Joe302 #2795408 12/26/18 11:01 AM
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WOW, I feel the same way, purchased two of them.. different versions and ended up do disappointed, lost interest for over a year, getting ready to start using the 'Adventures in Piano" btw, it's not all the books fault, I own part of that. So let's see how this book is - and no I don't have a teacher.


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Re: I'm Done with Alfred!
Joe302 #2795421 12/26/18 11:50 AM
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I may be the only person on this forum who enjoys both method books (Faber) and Hanon exercises. Oh well, to each his own and I hope we all find things to play that keep us coming back to the keyboard.


First Lesson Oct. 17, 2017. Now working on Faber Piano Adventures 3B Lesson, T&A, Performance, Theory and Faber FunTime Ragtime & Marches. Kawai MP11SE. My Sound Cloud Piano recordings
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Re: I'm Done with Alfred!
Joe302 #2795460 12/26/18 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Joe302
Originally Posted by ebonykawai
Congrats! My life improved exponentially when I left Faber in the dust, lol. The music was SO boring and uninspiring! I use Keith Snell's piano repertoire books, as well as the Masterwork Classics series. There is plenty of Burgmuller in Snell's etude books, also in the Romantic & 20th Century books starting at level 3, I believe. I personally enjoy the Schubert pieces, which Snell includes in every level. He has theory and scale skills at each level, as well. I find it very well rounded. MC series is very good, too. Enjoy!


Oh, you bring up a really good point here.
I have several of the the Keith Snell preparatory level books: the etudes and repertoire for Baroque & Classical.
I have not yet seen the Romantic and 20th century books yet as the music store didn't have them.
So this is a potential third choice for my teacher and I to consider.

How far did you get in these books? I mean which Level did you reach?
Thanks.


I'm about 3/4 of the way through level 4 and will probably start level 5 in early spring. I usually buy my books on Amazon, but you can also get them on Sheet Mucis Plus, their prices are good but the shipping is super slow (media mail) so I don't often buy from them. The CDs that are also available are fantastic! I personally buy the separate books and CD instead of the 2008 editions, which combined baroque/classical and romantic/20th century into one book that is called "Essential Piano Repertoire", which also includes a free CD. That combined book is more of a 'best of' collection of the separate books, and excludes the etudes which you can get in the original series. The etudes are included in the original CDs but removed from the free CDs included in Essential Piano Repertoire. So just be aware of this so you know what you're getting!


Lisa

Playing RCM 8 repertoire
Kawai UST-9, Yamaha CLP565GP & CLP645

"I tell my piano the things I used to tell you." - Frederic Chopin
Re: I'm Done with Alfred!
Tyrone Slothrop #2795463 12/26/18 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Joe302
Oh, you bring up a really good point here.
I have several of the the Keith Snell preparatory level books: the etudes and repertoire for Baroque & Classical.
I have not yet seen the Romantic and 20th century books yet as the music store didn't have them.
So this is a potential third choice for my teacher and I to consider.

There is also a Snell's Essential Repertoire series which is a combination of the separate series, but only contains representative works.


Exactly! I just explained it, as well, because it drove me crazy when I was trying to figure it out at first, LOL.


Lisa

Playing RCM 8 repertoire
Kawai UST-9, Yamaha CLP565GP & CLP645

"I tell my piano the things I used to tell you." - Frederic Chopin
Re: I'm Done with Alfred!
ebonykawai #2795740 12/27/18 11:26 AM
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There are some great books written by the "masters" that teach various things and are enjoyable to play. Both that I'm listing here could be started by most students after a year of lessons. If you approach things this way I strongly urge you to make sure you learn how to play in every key. It will pay dividends down the road.

First lessons in Bach. Complete. Book / and 2. Each short original Bach song is designed to teach you something hint and the intro tells you what. These are great short musical pieces

Schumann Album for the young. Written in the romantic period to fill a gap in teaching material for young students. Great music for adults. I have the shirker performance edition which is edited and has selections from this

Succeeding with music festival series I've used for other periods. Classical in particular.

Re: I'm Done with Alfred!
Azariah #2796592 12/29/18 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Azariah
There are some great books written by the "masters" that teach various things and are enjoyable to play. Both that I'm listing here could be started by most students after a year of lessons. If you approach things this way I strongly urge you to make sure you learn how to play in every key. It will pay dividends down the road.

First lessons in Bach. Complete. Book / and 2. Each short original Bach song is designed to teach you something hint and the intro tells you what. These are great short musical pieces

Schumann Album for the young. Written in the romantic period to fill a gap in teaching material for young students. Great music for adults. I have the shirker performance edition which is edited and has selections from this

Succeeding with music festival series I've used for other periods. Classical in particular.


Hi Azariah,
Thanks for these suggestions.
I will add them to the list of books to discuss with my teacher.
Joe


Proud owner of a Kawai KU-5D 52 inch professional upright.
Re: I'm Done with Alfred!
Animisha #2796599 12/29/18 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Animisha
Originally Posted by Sibylle
In the category "spontaneous thoughts upon reading thread titles": When I saw this one, I thought you were batman.


In the category "spontaneous thoughts upon reading a thread": Half a year from now, you'll write a new thread. "I am done with Mikrokosmos!"


Thanks for your positive comment Animisha.
In less than a week, I'm tired of you.


Proud owner of a Kawai KU-5D 52 inch professional upright.
Re: I'm Done with Alfred!
Joe302 #2797325 01/01/19 03:38 AM
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I cherry picked a few pieces from Alfred- the entertainer and Chattanooga cho choo are great

Re: I'm Done with Alfred!
Joe302 #2798310 01/04/19 09:03 AM
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You have so many good suggestions, just to add my 2 cents;

Masterwork Classics; I enjoy this series a lot. Book 1 and 2 I would learn a new piece every week and work through the whole book. Now am in book 3 and 4 and cherry picking pieces I like.

Celebration Series: They do a great job of picking a wide mix of interesting pieces to play from baroque through Modern, and perhaps a bit more weighted to Modern than other collections.

Tchaikovsky; Album for the young, so many beautiful pieces in this collection

Schumman and Burgmuller also have some great pieces as suggested. Also, I use Youtube a lot to listen to pieces I want to learn and have a long list of stuff that will likely take me 5 years or more to develop; Paul barton, UIpianoPed, tinymozarts, cubusdk, The Great repertoire, vkgoeswild , Freesheetpianomusic....just a few I peruse a lot.

Re: I'm Done with Alfred!
Joe302 #2798350 01/04/19 10:27 AM
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I think what a lot of people are touching on here is that they think you'll be much happier when you're playing music in its original form. Most of the pieces in Alfred and early Faber are adaptations and/or are pieces that are composed by the authors. They tend to lack musical flair.

To that end, though, FYI a lot of the tunes in Mikrokosmos are not particularly tuneful.

I have a few suggestions for books that contain a variety of repertoire works in their original form. Two books published by Faber - Piano Literature and Piano Sonatinas. All the work is original and lots of it is very compelling. Each is leveled, so there's I think four books in all, and the first book is probably a level you're more or less at now.

Another good series is Classics For the Developing Pianist. Five levels in all, AND each book has a companion study guide that helps you break each piece down and learn it from different perspectives. Lots of good info here on learning how to learn.

I'm just up to Book 2 on all three of the above and I LOVE the songs. The first time you figure out a few bars even and hear how the song is meant to sound, it sounds so great that it makes you want to keep playing.

Best of luck!

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